Armenian Genocide: Swiss can be proud of their grandparents

Last Friday at the Bern Minster, the religious leader of Armenians living in the diaspora, Aram I, and FSPC President Gottfried Locher honored Swiss citizens who have offered solidarity to the Armenian people for 100 years. On Saturday, they issued a joint declaration on the presence of Christians in the Middle East.

Catholicos Aram I, who was visiting from Lebanon, conveyed the gratitude of the Armenian people to the numerous Swiss women and men who have borne witness to the Genocide for the last 100 years, who offered support to survivors, founded orphanages and stood up for justice. “Today’s people of Switzerland can be proud of their ancestors for the good things they did for the Armenians,” His Holiness Aram I said at the Bern Minster.

“’Righteous ones’ is what the Armenian Church calls Swiss citizens who helped the survivors of the Armenian Genocide 100 years ago. I am deeply moved by this. It is a good thing that our country is rediscovering this lost part of its history,” said Gottfried Locher. The FSPC President invites today’s Swiss women and men to follow this inspiring example.

Joint declaration

In a joint declaration (in German) Aram I and Gottfried Locher point out that the presence of Christians in the Middle east is currently at risk. They call upon Switzerland to intensify its efforts to protect minorities in this region.

The Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Aram I, had been invited by the FSPC to visit Switzerland from September 24 to 26, 2015. During his visit, he met with representatives of the federal authorities. In addition, His Holiness Aram I spoke at three public memorial events in Begnins (VD), Bern and Walzenhausen (AR).

Cilicia is a historical region in Anatolia, which today is part of Turkey. Since 1930, the seat of the Catholicosate has been in Antelias in Lebanon. The visit was co-organized by the Armenofas Foundation, which promotes the further advancement of historical relationships between the Armenian and the Swiss people.

» Joint declaration (in German)
» More information (in German)